Autonomous vehicles could replace 33% of journeys by 2025, research suggests

One in three London car journeys could be undertaken by an autonomous vehicle by 2025, according to a consortium investigating ways to integrate new technology into the Capital’s public transport network.

MERGE Greenwich is led by the private hire company Addison Lee and comprises six organisations, including Ford, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Backed by funding from Innovate UK, the consortium’s aim is to establish how autonomous vehicles can deliver commercially viable services, complementing existing transport arrangements.

Pointing to new research, MERGE Greenwich predicts that 34% of private drivers’ journeys could be replaced by 2025, while up to 30% of taxi and private hire journeys could also be served by autonomous vehicle ridesharing.

Overall, the research suggests an autonomous vehicle ride-sharing service could deliver up to one in seven of all trips within London within eight years, equivalent to 2.5m trips per day, and up to 25% of the Capital’s total transport market by value.

The figures, extrapolated from studies carried out in Los Angeles and Boston, together with the London Travel Demand Survey, will form the basis of hypotheses to be tested and examined during the year-long MERGE Greenwich project, which also has support from Transport for London.

12 October 2017